A different approach to role play and forum theatre

A different approach to role play and forum theatre

Every programme we run at Firovia is designed for the individual needs of our clients. We do not run repetitive programmes with the same content at different client sites, but rather take the initiative of researching the specific development needs of our client’s organisations, interviewing employees at different levels to understand the organisations culture, attitudes and the issues faced by its people. This ensures that every programme we deliver has the best possible impact on the development needs of the participants and the organisation.

"The business world is good at making people competent, but there's a growing realisation within companies that it's not the competency but the inspired ideas and emotional awareness that differentiates them," Mark Wright, Head of Creative Development at Arts and Business Yorkshire, a not for profit organisation.

People are often sceptical about the impact that actor based role play and theatre can have on an organisation. With this in mind, we use a carefully crafted process to ensure that delegates do not feel intimidated by participating in the activity. Firstly, we restrict the number of delegates per actor to a maximum of 4 which has proven to be un-intimidating and more real as a learning experience. The scenarios are prepared to reflect the needs of the participants, and are often devised with the input of the organisations HR division or senior management. Delegates are given time to ask questions, and become fully comfortable with the task before commencing.

The learning cycle is fully integrated into the above approach by allowing each delegate in both syndicate groups to engage in a conversation while the other delegates observe and take notes. As the role-play unfolds, the participants are encouraged to take “time-outs” in-order to take suggestions from the observers. At the end of the role-play, the participant receives feedback from the observers, the actor and the facilitator.

Feedback from previous programmes we have run


“It was an environment where real learning took place”

“I realised that you can't learn everything from a book- you need the chance to take a chance in a safe environment”

“I realised how easy it was in theory, but how difficult it is to have a really courageous conversation in light of what you know and have to tell the actor”

© Copyright Firovia Consulting 2012